This ends the regular season for Paxton, who has been on the 10-day injured list with a flexor strain since Aug. 20. While the Yankees appear likely to make the playoffs, Paxton won’t be available then from the outset.
Paxton turned in another effective (albeit injury-shortened) campaign in 2019, the former Mariner’s first in New York, and the Yankees were counting on more solid production from him this season. Instead, the 31-year-old totaled 20 1/3 innings of 6.64 ERA ball and saw his average fastball velocity drop from around 95 mph to 92.1. Even if the 31-year-old Paxton pitches again during the fall, he figures to head into free agency in an unfavorable position in a couple months.
Sawyer, previously with the Orioles, Dodgers and Twins organizations, signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in February. He topped out in Triple-A ball from 2018-19, during which he amassed 254 plate appearances and batted .277/.370/.405.